Month: December 2015

Hanging your hat on a hazelnut hook

As hazelnut farmers in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley, we spend as much time in our orchard as in our metal shop.  Both endeavors are equally satisfying.  And, earlier this year, I found a perfect leaf in our Sacajawea field, across the road.  Using it as a template, we manufactured 1,500 hooks for a local hazelnut company. and soon farmers throughout the Northwest will be hanging their hats on our hooks.

Cut from sheets of silicon bronze, each leaf was cut, smoothed, textured, and drilled. The hooks were cut from rods of the same silicon bronze.  After both ends were smoothed, the hook was formed and notched.  Then, each hook was silver-soldered onto the leaf and after a final polish, three five-gallon pails of leaf hooks were delivered.  Here is a picture of the leaves just before the final polish.  The heat of the soldering torch created a lovely patina.leaves

We have a small supply of additional hooks available for sale.  And, without the hooks, the leaves make a lovely holiday ornament.  Contact us through this website or see us at SIP (McMinnville’s wine and food classic) in March.

Bench anvils


For an enamel artist who works on a small scale, a bench anvil is an essential tool.  Adding texture or shape to a disk of copper, bronze, or silver takes a pendant or earrings to the next level.  While we have a full metal shop, there are times when I need to straighten or bend or recurve something again . . . and again.  Rather than walk out to the shop, I’ve been using the garage floor.

Recently.  Ted wandered out to the shop while I was in the middle of pre-Thanksgiving prep and returned an hour later with a new bench block/anvil.  When he told me to turn it over, I realized that this will be my new best friend in the studio.  He placed a dapping depression on the reverse side for doming disks.

IMG_1045 (1)

Doming a disk before enameling adds structural strength and visual interest – and now, I can work on projects during the nooks and crannies of my day.

Similar anvils are available for $35 plus shipping ($5.95) and he can make modifications upon request.  I’ve already asked him to include a slot for putting a 90-degree bend in my sheet copper blanks, thinking that this will be a nice way to incorporate fold-forming to my designs.  I also want a wider shallower depression for putting a slight dome on pendants.  What would be useful to you?